Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Candidate announcement next week.

Expect to hear at least one announcement next week for someone running for the Northeast district that will be left vacant since Anderson is term-limited.

I also pulled petitions for Minnehaha County Commission as an independent candidate in the November election. I’m not sure if I will submit the petitions or not, just gathering at this point. I have until the end of April to decide.

Two seats are up for grabs, Dick Kelly and Jean Bender. Not sure if either has decided to run. The two top vote getters become commissioners.

The School Board will hold an Election to fill two vacancies when the terms of Kent Alberty and Carly Reiter expire in July. The School District’s annual Election will be held in conjunction with the City of Sioux Falls Municipal Election April 12, 2016 from 7:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. I haven’t heard of any challengers at this point.

Sioux Falls & Brandon Public Schools seem to be confused about the term ‘Public’

”He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” – Ben Franklin

Voting is the cornerstone of a free democracy, so where should this exercise take place? Well, probably in a public place, but Brandon & SF School District officials are saying “Not so Fast”;

Sioux Falls Schools officials have told county election managers that Hawthorne won’t be available for voting this election, citing security concerns.

Bob Bray, risk assessment manager for the Sioux Falls School District, said the building’s layout and scheduling make it hard to keep voters and students separate.

First off Mr. Bray, kids can be shot anywhere, parks, churches, walking down the street, and an election being held in your school is NOT going to increase that risk, and I almost question if you are using school shootings as an excuse.

Secondly, schools are publicly funded, and I almost question the legality of the districts denying access for an election, and would challenge Auditor Litz to dig up the laws on it.

Thirdly, the irony of all this couldn’t be more hypocritical. In a state where we scream and hollar about gun rights and being able to carry guns anywhere, we turn our backs on the very people who carry these guns and say, “Not in our facilities.” Well we can’t have it both ways. Until we change our culture about guns in South Dakota, there will still be shootings, whether they are accidental, intentional, or in a church or school setting, elections have little to do with when they occur.

Let’s end the paranoia, and stop the musical precincts;

Minnehaha County Commissioner Dick Kelly said he’s concerned the move will contribute to voter confusion during an important election.

“I think it is unfortunate you have to vote here one day, vote here another then vote here the next,” Kelly said

Litz agreed the search for polling places is a joint effort, requiring cooperation between the district and the county.

Never thought Bob and Dick would be the words of wisdom on this one, but they are right. Consistency helps with voter turnout.

Why did the Minnehaha County Commission appoint the same chair 3 years in a row?

YouTube Preview Image

I have mixed views on term limits, but when it comes to peers essentially serving in similar duties, why not pass the buck around?

The Minnehaha County Commission conducted its first official meeting of the year on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. Commissioner Cindy Heiberger was elected to serve as Chairman of the County Commission.

I find this odd, for a couple of reasons.

• I would think Cindy would want a break after 2 years.

• Jeff Barth was ALSO nominated by Dick Kelly, and seconded by Jeff.

Is Cindy’s paranoia so strong when it comes to Barth as chair (Democrat) she is willing to do a job she may be tired of for another year?

Party pride can get the best of us. Glad I am an Indy.

Public Input, Minnehaha County Commission, 11/24/2015

(FF to 18:00)

Several people came to talk about petitioning in front of the Administration Building.

YouTube Preview Image

Minnehaha County Commission Races

Rumor has it that a Sioux Falls city councilor that is term limited this Spring is considering a run for the county commission. Also, some have been suspecting that appointed commissioner Jean Bender will not run because she has found the job to be ‘overwhelming’.

Maybe if the commission would have been more transparent when they made the appointment, they would have picked someone who was more ‘committed’ to public service instead of someone who was ‘connected’ in the developer community.

But what do I know, I’m just a speculator.

Homan’s Horse Barn Hectics

YouTube Preview Image

Well if you want to kill an hour of your time and lose 60 minutes you will NEVER get back, watch the latest Minnehaha County Commission meeting (10/6/2015).

As a commissioner said to me today (explaining the proceedings) “It was truly watching sausage being made.”

I guess that is a nice way of putting it. It was a cluster F’ of sub motions, memory loss, angry directors, staff attorneys and literally horse trading events. When the smoke cleared, Homan was sent back to the planning commission (3-2) to figure out how to re-build a horse barn (that doesn’t need to be re-built, because, well, it is still there).

The Homan’s were looking for a ‘safety net’ so to speak ‘in-case’ the barn would to burn down or get carried away by a tornado or other natural disaster (you never know these days). The problem? It’s not zoned ag (anymore).

See the county isn’t to blame, and neither are the zoning laws. It seems (what I could gather from the sausage fest) that the Homan’s were duped into buying a ‘quaint’ little acreage that isn’t zoned ag. See the barn was originally built on 40 acres of ag zoned land, and the owner of that parcel decided to make a smaller parcel for the Homans to purchase, but either he didn’t tell them the zoning would change OR they didn’t research it, either way, it seems according to the planning director for the county, they are SOL.

Funny, after all the years of Homan skirting the School District’s rules of actually living in the district you work for, it seems there are some rules that cannot be stretched.

Lincoln County Commissioner King’s anti-bike rant further proves that some people shouldn’t be elected to public office


I bet you my horse you wouldn’t catch me riding a bicycle on the streets of Sioux Falls.

Should we be just a bit concerned that an elected official in one of the fastest growing counties in the United States is anti-bicycle? Yes we should.

Sitting on several boards as part of my duties, I’ve been learning more about the new bicycle lanes that have cropped up around town. I couldn’t be more concerned about the hazardous conditions these create on our streets.

I’ve been around enough to know the arguments before I even hear them, that safe drivers and safe bicyclists doing what they’re supposed to should make for a happy mix. That’s pure fantasy.

Bikes and vehicles shouldn’t share confined space, period.

Well Dan, I’m not going to pull any fancy statistical math out of my butt, but I will pull some stats from my personal experience. The safest place for any bicyclist is on the street, riding with traffic and obeying the same laws as motorists. Bicyclists should also wear bright clothes, have lights and a helmet. I have been riding on the streets/sidewalks/bike trails of Sioux Falls since 1993. Guess how many accidents I have been in riding on the streets? Zero. Guess how many I have been in riding on the bike trail or sidewalks . . . I have lost track. I have broken my elbow trying to avoid a pedestrian on a sidewalk, I have been bumped numerous times by vehicles coming out of approaches while riding on the sidewalk, I almost dislocated my shoulder while hitting a curb, riding on the sidewalk (that one destroyed the entire front of my bike). I have also gotten a fat lip from eating my handlebars after going off the curb, while riding on the sidewalk. Besides the occasional ‘F’You!’ from motorists riding on the street or the honk of a horn and a middle finger, NO one has ever hit me either intentionally or accidently riding on the street. Why you ask? BECAUSE MOTORISTS CAN SEE YOU! It really is that simple.

I’d hang my hat on the premise that South Dakotans employ a larger degree of logic and reasoning. Unfortunately, bicycle lanes are planned by a tiny group of elected officials and paid planners/consultants.

I probably wouldn’t hang my hat there when it comes to planning bike lanes, and while I often cringe when public officials hire ‘consultants’ I guess I would much prefer a bike/traffic professional planning our bike lanes then farmer Joe. You don’t go to a Chiropractor to cure Cancer, you go to an Oncologist (that’s the fancy word for Cancer Doctor, BTW).

I’m concerned that the vast majority of Sioux Falls motorists will have no idea they’re coming till they turn onto the new streets.

I would agree that that is unfortunate, but as I tell all of my friends who are getting into bike commuting and riding on our streets, RIDE DEFENSIVELY and CARRY A BIG HORN! The same goes for driving a car or walking across a street, always be aware of your surroundings. Do motorists get a free pass because they drive a much larger heavier vehicle? They can just plow people over if they don’t see them? That is about as ridiculous statement as it comes.

I’ve raised my concerns, and probably a couple tempers voicing these thoughts in board meetings. I’ve hit a brick wall in doing anything about it myself.

Dan, you have probably hit a brick wall because YOU ARE WRONG and people are tired of arguing with you and all your ‘wrongness’.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to let my fellow drivers know what’s coming. Be safe folks, on two wheels or several. Logic and reasoning were both left untouched in the toolbox on this one.

I would also like to take this opportunity to tell the same folks to NOT re-elect Dan King to the county commission. Logic and reasoning were obviously left untouched in the ballot box when he was elected to his first term.

We need bicycle lanes on our Sioux Falls streets, it just makes sense.

Mayor Huether really doesn’t understand the city’s relationship with the two sharing counties


“I only attend the important meetings. Now who wants a banana?”

Well you have to laugh when Minnehaha County Commissioner, Jeff Barth says this;

A few of the county commissioners say they cannot remember the last time a sitting mayor spoke at one of their meetings.

He actually went on to say it has been NINE years since they have seen a sitting mayor of Sioux Falls at their meeting.

Commissioner Barth also asked the mayor about the growing crime rate in the city.

But that isn’t the only meetings the mayor has been missing out on. During the Sioux Falls city council informational councilors hammered the mayor about his absence at the county/city coffees the city council has each month with Lincoln and Minnehaha county commissioners and Erpenbach asked why the mayor hasn’t attended the joint meetings lately at Carnegie. After he danced around the question for about 2 minutes he told Erpenbach he has a “Busy Schedule”. You know, it’s hard to pencil in a meeting when you are flying all over the state campaigning(?) for governor. Funny how he has time to go to Yankton, the Black Hills and next week to Brookings, but he can’t drive 10 minutes across town to attend an EVENING meeting at Carnegie. Councilor Erickson also reiterated that the mayor needs to attend the meetings and that they have been very productive. Councilor Jamison went as far to tell the mayor he is a “year behind” when it comes to negotiations with the counties about partnerships because he doesn’t attend the meetings. Huether said he has “got his staff on it.” So now the taxpayers are paying staffers to do the Mayor’s job so he can hop scotch around the state. Nice. Maybe if the mayor wants to spend more time campaigning then actually doing his job, someone can teach him how to teleconference using Skype. Let’s face it, he doesn’t attend these meetings because he is not in charge.

The Minnehaha County Commission also wondered if there could be any (financial) partnerships with the city;

Commissioner Jeff Barth hopes the county sees more benefits from whatever partnerships are in the future.

“The fact is that our revenues are growing at 30-percent of the revenues of the city and the state, and yet our responsibilities are increasing at a greater level,” Barth said.

Ironically, Huether talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk. The city could easily give the county a lot more of the kitty by simply cutting them a check for ‘services rendered’. I would much more prefer $24 million dollars of my tax money going to the county for services then purchasing an indoor pool that will only cost us millions each year in operations and maintenance.

Dick Kelly also scrutinizes the city’s use of TIF’s;

Development in the city continues to grow every year, with Huether saying Sioux Falls has doubled its number of TIFs in the last five and a half years. Commissioner Dick Kelly says those impact the county city immediately with sales and property tax dollars.

“We don’t see anything for generally 20 years when that property tax growth comes.  Yet our expenses continue to rise and rise and rise.  I just ask you continue to be very selective in what you do with the TIF programs,” Kelly said.

“You should demand that we scrutinize these TIFs and I will assure you we are,” Huether said.

LOL! We are already past the $500 million mark on building permits for the year and we are setting up to be another record year for them, yet somehow we need TIF’s? Boloney. Developers ask for TIF’s because they can. A great example is when the Lloyd companies asked for a TIF on the School for the Deaf property, then bailed on it when they couldn’t get one, yet another investor came in, didn’t ask for a TIF and has tons of interest in the property from other investors And it’s not like this guy is the wealthiest developer in town, it’s ‘Uncle Bruce’ who owns used car lots. TIF’s are not needed in Sioux Falls, they only have an adverse effect on county and school funding, they need to be eliminated.

Maybe our Mayor would understand the county relationship better if he attended a lot more government meetings instead jumping out of helicopters like he is a monkey.

Mayor Huether to give same presentation to Minnehaha County Commission and Sioux Falls City Council on the same day?

So this is interesting, our Crybayor is going to address the county and city elected legislators on the same day, which apparently looks like the same presentation;



The details to both presentations are mum, I guess. But the running joke is that the mayor will be bragging about the $75K bathroom money for the fairgrounds.


Is Mayor Huether going to address the Minnehaha County Commission on Tuesday, September 1st?

The County Commission has not yet posted their agenda for Tuesday, September 1st, so I am not sure if it will be a planned presentation or public input. But if it is public input, I must remind the county commission to only allow him to speak for five minutes, which I know will be difficult for him, especially after watching him ramble for over 20 minutes during Chief Barthel’s retirement announcement.

The rumor floating around is that he is going to talk to the commission about ‘working’ with them. I guess it has only taken him 5 years to figure out we have a county government.